Monterey Bay Attractions

  Cannery Row

Monterey, CA 93940

An eclectic labyrinth of world-class galleries, factory outlets, specialty shops, picnic spots, nightclubs and waterfront restaurants famed for international fare and Monterey wines, the greatest draw to downtown Monterey’s family-friendly Cannery Row is the oceanfront Monterey Bay Aquarium. Outdoorsy types can venture beyond Steinbeck’s namesake attraction (Cannery Row was once the bordello-bustling hot bed of Monterey’s fishing industry) by renting sea kayaks, bikes, surfboards and even authentic reproductions of Ford’s Model A Roadster.


  Monterey Bay Aquarium

886 Cannery Row, Monterey CA 93940

Tel. 831.648.4888

From rocky tide pools to the open sea, the permanent exhibits at the renowned Monterey Bay Aquarium, Monterey’s top attraction, showcase the staggering abundance of marine life in Monterey Bay, the largest national marine sanctuary in the country and home to the submerged Monterey Canyon, an underwater breach twice as deep as the Grand Canyon. Furry-faced sea otters, nimble jellyfish and a million-gallon indoor ocean showcase the mysteries of Monterey Bay with a three-story kelp forest, tide pools, penguins and a panorama of open sea creatures.


  Monterey State Historical Park

20 Custom House Plaza, Monterey CA 93940;

Tel. 831.649.7118

A cluster of historic Monterey buildings and manicured gardens near Old Monterey, the Monterey State Historical Park brings the varied history of the area to life with guided walking tours of some of California’s oldest buildings, including the adobe Custom House, built in the 1840s, an old whaling station and the Pacific House, a Monterey museum exploring Monterey’s history as a Native American village and the capital of Mexico’s Alta California.


  Point Lobos State Reserve

Carmel CA

Once home to Native Americans, whalers, abalone canneries and quarries, Monterey’s Point Lobos State Reserve (three miles south of downtown Carmel) is justifiably the 3crown jewel of the State Park system.2 Rare plants and a unique geography characterize the extensive trail system, traversing over 550 acres; hikers, campers, nature enthusiasts, photographers and joggers enjoy Point Lobos’ rocky beauty and jutting coastline. Scuba divers, embarking from Bluefish and Whaler’s Cove, prize the waters off Point Lobos State Reserve for their biological diversity and chance whale and dolphin sightings.


  Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park

Big Sur CA

One of most enchanting places on the California coast, Big Sur’s Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park is home to ancient redwoods, cascading waterfalls, secluded ocean coves and rocky islands. Over 2000 acres of preserved wilderness, the Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park is a highly recommended Big Sur attraction. The Big Sur Lodge is an idyllic refuge located within the wooded confines of the Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park.


  Carmel Mission

Rio Road, Carmel CA; Tel. 831.624.3600

A working Catholic church since 1770, the Carmel Mission is a Monterey attraction of significant religious importance, housing some of the most important artifacts of California’s mission period. An on-site museum showcases California’s first library and recreates the day-to-day life of the Mission’s priests and Native American subjects.


  Mazda Laguna Seca Raceway

P.O. Box 2078, Monterey CA

Tel. 800.327.SECA

Historic motor races, revved-up Porches and classic Indy cars take to the track at Monterey’s Laguna Seca Raceway. The season officially begins in May, and autophiles can camp near the course and take a break from exhaust fumes at any of Monterey’s nearby attractions.


  National Steinbeck Center

One Main St., Salinas CA 93901

Tel. 831.796.3833

A scenic thirty-minute drive from downtown Monterey, the National Steinbeck Center, located in Old Town Salinas, is one of Monterey County’s top attractions and a worthwhile stop for Steinbeck fans and California history buffs. An educational tour de force, the National Steinbeck center explores the life and times of one of California’s greatest cultural assets through tactile exhibits and interactive stage sets.